For decades now financial institutions have been trying to move their customers from a more traditional and costly, person-to-person type relationship, to a more cost-effective, customer self service model. Starting in 1966 with the introduction of the automated teller machine (ATM) the customer self-service model began. The basic philosophy was, let the customer service themselves and the financial institution won’t require as many tellers in the branch.

Considering the times, it was a pretty bold move. Back then person-to-person relationships were considered very important. You would never consider taking a valuable customer and making them talk to a machine. But that’s just what financial institutions did. They realized that not all customers were profitable and that the unprofitable customers were taking time away from the customers that were profitable.

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